Find Returning String Instead of Integer?

Any ideas on why this is? The quantity field in mysql is INT, but I get
back a string? This is preventing me from using the increment method.

@cart = Cart.new

=> #<Cart:0x2730f40 @new_record=true, @attributes={}>

@cart.items << Item.find(:first)

=> [#<Item:0x272d6ec @attributes={"vendor_id"=>"1",
"updated_at"=>"2006-09-26 12:00:38", "catalog_id"=>"8050",
"price"=>"185", "created_by"=>"Unit Tests", "unit"=>"ea",
"updated_by"=>nil, "id"=>"1", "description"=>"CAP analog for SP6
MegaScript kit", "created_at"=>nil}>]

@cart.save

=> true

@cart.items.find(1).quantity

=> "1"

@cart.items.find(1).increment!(:quantity)

TypeError: can't convert Fixnum into String
        from
/usr/local//lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.14.4/lib/active_record/base.rb:1445:in
`+'
        from
/usr/local//lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.14.4/lib/active_record/base.rb:1445:in
`increment'
        from
/usr/local//lib/ruby/gems/1.8/gems/activerecord-1.14.4/lib/active_record/base.rb:1451:in
`increment!'
        from (irb):8

Using